How To Make a Patio Pond in a Day

by Ivory Soap

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Have you had your eye on an expensive water feature for your back yard patio? Water features are a great way to add visual interest to your back yard, and can help provide a calming oasis for you and your family to relax next to after a long day. Water features, however, don’t have to be expensive or labor intensive. With a few items from your local home improvement store, you can make a patio container pond in less than an hour.

1.  Go to your local home improvement store or pond supply and purchase a small pump and spray head to take it with you when you choose your pots. Examine your pump and spray head to see if you will need  glue to keep them together.

2.  Choose a large pot (with no holes in the bottom) for the exterior of your pond. You can use a large plastic container, but clay pots are beautiful and makes a big difference in the overall look of your pond.

3.  Choose a second, smaller pot that fits upside down in the bottom of the large pot.  This will be where you set the pump.  You want the pump under water, with the sprayer above the surface of the water.

4.  In the garden section, choose several inexpensive water plants. We chose several that were only a couple of dollars each. One has a purple flower on it, and another one looks like a miniature head of lettuce.

*Goldfish are fun to add to container ponds.  You can buy them at pond supply stores, but they are cheaper at your local pet store. We bought some “feeder” fish for .15 each.Be sure to pick up some food while you’re there.

5.  To assemble the pond, place your large pot on your patio somewhere near an electrical outlet so you can plug it in. Next place the smaller pot upside down in the center of the large pot.

6.  Attach your sprayer to the pump. If necessary, seal them together with glue. Place the pump upright on top of the small pot.

7.  Fill the large pot with water. We filled ours about 3/4 full. You just want the pump to be underwater and the sprayer to be above the surface of the water.

8.  Arrange your plants in the water, and plug in the pump to make sure everything is working correctly.

*If you chose to add fish, float them in the bags for at least a few hours to acclimate them to the new temperature and allow the sprayer to eliminate any chlorine from the water.  Last but not least, open the bags and add your fish.

That’s it, enjoy your work of art!


Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom who is the author of What’s for Dinner?, an e-cookbook containing more than 250 quick easy dinner ideas. For more recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking.

Disclaimer: This post may contain a link to an affiliate.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Marti July 27, 2011 at 5:21 pm

How cute! I wish we could have water hyacinth here too.

Heather July 29, 2011 at 4:59 am

You have water hyacinth (the purple flowering one) and water lettuce, for what it’s worth.

Where I live in zone six, neither survive our winters, so we treat them like annuals. Ditto with those small fish. Well, we don’t treat them like annuals, that just sounded wrong. But they can’t survive the winter in something that small. It would freeze completely. Are your winters warm enough, or are you going to bring any survivors of the season inside for the winter?

J. Acevedo July 29, 2011 at 7:36 am

So cute idea! But I have too many cats & dogs to make this work. They might think this is their water bowl, or a new toy…8-)

Megan December 31, 2011 at 5:04 am

Very cute! I grew up with small ponds and have been wanting to add one to my backyard garden for some time now. Almost did so this year but the budget went to building raised veggie beds instead. I have my heart set on a 6’x2’x2′ aluminum stock tank and a solar pump…would make a nice water backup for the garden in addition to the rain barrels I want to put in.

Megan December 31, 2011 at 5:05 am

D’oh, galvanized steel is what I meant. 🙂

MomHomeGuide May 14, 2012 at 7:49 pm

Wonderful! Will have to make one of these for my home’s patio.

Sophiathebackyardfarmer October 15, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Cool! I love the fish idea! I hope they don’t freeze though!

Debbie December 1, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I would worry about predators for those fish. I don’t know if you’re doing anything to keep birds from getting in there and getting them but you can use fishing line strung in a downward angle from the top and when the birds try to swoop in, the hit the fishing line and learn not to go there any more.

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